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“Nice Food, Diabolical Service”

Maxine's Restaurant at Charlton House
Price range: US$137 - US$137
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 19 September 2013

Food nicely cooked and well presented but small portions and service is sooooooooooo slow. Staff are pleasant enough but there just aren't enough of them to provide a good level of service. It is no good having an excellent chef to produce fine dining if the service is then too slow to get the food out hot and in good time. Would not use again.

1  Thank Spaaddicts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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102 - 106 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 24 August 2013

This used to be a beautiful hotel - when owned by the Mulberry founders. I stopped off at the hotel after a trip to the Mulberry shop in Shepton Mallet, for lunch/afternoon tea with a girlfriend who I had raved about the hotel to. It is now owned by Duncan Ballantyne. The interior is tired and shabby and needs attention. The staff were scarce on the ground. There was a wedding going on in the Orangery and they seemed to be totally engrossed in that function at the cost of other customers. It was 2.35pm when we arrived. We asked if we could have afternoon tea. We were told it is not served until 3.00pm and Chef will not do it any earlier. So we choose from the lunch menu. Our food arrived at 3.15 pm. So we could have had the afternoon tea! Food was tasty but expensive and portions were small. The irony is the tea cost considerably more than our lunch. So Mr Dragon's Den lost out on revenue because Chef wouldn't do afternoon tea a little earlier!

    • Value
    • Service
2  Thank Lesley A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2013

Superb food. VERY small portions- make sure you fill up on the lovely breads. The quality was second to none.

Thank Parsly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2013

Under the Sauls, Charlton House was a real destination for a good dining experience - in it's earlier days an exceptional one. Now it is pedestrian at best. Good staff cannot cover for poor ingredients cooked poorly with minimal imagination. Decor is dull. It seemed to be used primarily as a convenient stop for visitors to the spa.

    • Value
    • Service
Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2013

My husband and I visited the restaurant for lunch on our wedding anniversary, as Charlton House was the venue of our evening wedding reception.
Despite having changed hands, the hotel & restaurant haven't changed a bit over the past 5 years!
The menu was varied, yet concise. I feel it could have benefited from a beef dish on the mains. From memory, the mains were pork belly, goats' cheese wellington, a posh chicken kiev, and a pan fried cod. It was on £14.95 for 2 courses or £19.95 for 3.
I can't remember the full starter menu but it included smoked salmon and cured duck. We didn't have dessert. The dessert menu looked great - but it was lunch time!
Anyway, regarding the experience, being fully dressed made us the odd ones out in the restaurant! Our co-diners were mainly clad in robes after having emerged from the on-site spa. So if this doesn't put you off your lunch, then you'll be ok!
We did also note that it is very bright in there - it's mainly conservatory - so you may require your sunglasses!
Anyway, the starters arrived - a good start. Smoked salmon & cured duck - both fantastic. Then the mains arrived. They looked great - very well presented. My husband had the pork belly, which he loved. I chose the cod. And this was the slip up. On their part. Regrettably it was so bland, absolutely tasteless and the purple dyed potatoes that accompanied were also tasteless. This was such a shame because the rest of the food was fantastic! And the petit fours that followed were so good that we paid for another round to take home! They were a mini jelly, a mini soft meringue on a stick, a chocolate truffle & the most divine white chocolate fudge that we have ever eaten!
Anyway, I had to mention the tasteless main and they were very graceful. The service was great, the setting is lovely, and the rest of the food was fantastic. If my meal hadn't been so, then it would have been an excellent!
So, in short my advice is... GO! But don't have the cod!

    • Food
Thank g00df00dhunting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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